The ridge over River Kwai is one of attractions in Kanchanaburi most visited by tourists. It became internationally famous thanks to cinema, with the movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai", and several books, such as the novel "The Narrow Road to the Deep North" by Richard Flanagan. The black iron railway bridge, still in use today, it was originally part of the tragically known Death Railway. The Death Railway, 415 Km long, was built on the orders of Japanese Empire to support its forces in the campaign in Burma, during the Second World War. The railway line linking Ban Pong, Thailand, to Thanbyuzayat, Burma, and was the completion of connection between Bangkok and Rangoon, now Yangon. For its construction were used 60,000 Allied prisoners of war, POWs, and at least 180,000 forced labourers of Asian origin, called Romusha. According to estimates, of them died of starvation and immense effort least 90,000 Romusha and 12,621 POWs, a figure established. The list of POWs died included: 6,904 British, 2,802 Australians, 2782 Dutch, and 133 Americans. The remains of the prisoners of war died are preserved in two war cemeteries in Kanchanaburi, the Don-Rak War Cemetery and the Chonk-Kai War Cemetery. The Don-Rak War Cemetery, also known as the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, is located opposite the railway station, on Saengchote Road. The Chonk-Kai War Cemetery is located about 2 km south of the city, on the bank of the River Kwai Noi. After the war, the line was closed in 1947. Later the line was removed, and sold its iron rails, because of its danger and also because judged politically and morally undesirable. The section between Nong Pla Duk and Namtok was reopened ten years later, in 1957. It also includes the bridge over the River Kwai. The original black iron bridge was brought by the Japanese from the island of Java. Target of frequent Allied bombings during the Second World War has been restored. The curved spans of the bridge are still the original. The trains every day continue to follow the historical path of the Death Railway, in the stretch between Kanchanaburi Railway Station and the station in Nam Tok, passing right by the bridge over the River Kwai.
Getting to River Kwai Bridge by train - There are two daily departures from Thonburi Railway Station at 07.45 and 13.55 to Kanchanaburi, River Kwai Bridge and Nam Tok, at the top end of the railway line; trains for return leave from Nam Tok station at 05.20 and 12.50. The trip from Bangkok up to Nam Tok takes about 5 hours, is available only the third class and the ticket costs 100 THB. Thonburi Station is located north-west of Bangkok, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is quite far from the city centre, and there aren't Subway or Skytrain stations nearby, accordingly the best choice to get to station is boarding a metered taxi.
Getting to River Kwai Bridge by bus - Buses to Kanchanaburi depart from the Sai Tai Mai Taling Chan in Bangkok, the Southern Terminal. Departures are frequent throughout the day, every 40 minutes from 4:30 to 22:00 in either direction; the bus trip takes about 2 hours to travel 130 km and ticket fare is 100 THB.Read More
River Kwai Bridge & Death Railway